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Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field (Lieber Code). 24 April 1863.
Section I : Martial law -- Military jurisdiction -- Military necessity -- Retaliation - Art. 15.
Art. 15. Military necessity admits of all direct destruction of life or limb of ' armed ' enemies, and of other persons whose destruction is incidentally ' unavoidable ' in the armed contests of the war; it allows of the capturing of every armed enemy, and every enemy of importance to the hostile government, or of peculiar danger to the captor; it allows of all destruction of property, and obstruction of the ways and channels of traffic, travel, or communication, and of all withholding of sustenance or means of life from the enemy; of the appropriation of whatever an enemy's country affords necessary for the subsistence and safety of the army, and of such deception as does not involve the breaking of good faith either positively pledged, regarding agreements entered into during the war, or supposed by the modern law of war to exist. Men who take up arms against one another in public war do not cease on this account to be moral beings, responsible to one another and to God.